Maxon announced C4D R18, which looks to be a huge update to its flagship DCC application. There are all kinds great features included with the update, but more importantly it speaks to where C4D is headed in the releases yet to come.
This can be seen in a few areas. There are new changes to the C4D Viewport, which has been largely negated up until this point. This is also true of the additions to MoGraph, effectors and animation tools, which really show a clear focus on bringing C4D up to modern standards.
Overall, there have been changes to animation workflows, adding Quaternion rotations, new constraints, and timeline baking functions. A lot of work has been put into exchanges, updating Alembic support, FBX, Houdini and support for Algorithmic’s Substance Engine.
There are also quite a few updates to the modeling tools and workflows in C4D R18, as well as some new Cloner behaviors and new effectors.
C4D R18 makes some much needed and new additions to the viewport. If you have ever used another 3D application that has a modern viewport, you quickly realize that C4D has lagged behind in this area. New additions to the C4D Viewport are a welcome change, but also speaks to the path ahead.
Shading and vertex normals now have a display in the viewport. You can also see reflections that can show you an approximation of the reflectance channel. A new tessellation option shows what displacements will look like and can be set globally, or per-material.
There is also a new screen-space Ambient Occlusion that will really level the quality of the viewport and its capabilities.
C4D R18 adds a new Quaternion workflow for animation. This is important for all types of things and and is really the mark of an application that wants to be seen as a true “animation” tool. Quaternions adds a new group in the coordinates tab. The key attributes for Quaternion rotations allow yo uno choose between different interpolation presets.
There is also a new Constraints workflow in R18. I have said many times that if an application wants to be seen as an animation tool, you need for it to have a constraint system. R18 offers a new parent constraint options, which is a really important tool for all animation.
More MoGraph, At Last
Mograph was such a ground-breaking advancement, it placed C4D where it is today. Since then it has been feeling a little neglected. In C4D R18, there is some new life in Mograph which shows Maxon’s commitment to keeping at the forefront.
New effectors make their debut. A push apart effector will help to avoid overlap with clones, and supports several modes. A new reEffector effector can reset all mograph data parameters to an initial state. There are also new distribution modes for the Mograph Cloner and Matrix Objects. This includes a new Honeycomb Array, and Clone on axis.
Most importantly, there have been changes to how Mograph is actually cached in R18. This is a huge advancement. The Cache tag has been completely rewritten, offering an option to save to external files. You can also have multiple MoGraph Cache tags and blend between them, on a single MoGraph object.
I think if there is one thing that you can take away from this release, is that there are a great many things changing to C4D’s core, that will eventually bring it up to modern standards. For a complete list of features, visit the page at Maxon for Cinema 4D R18.